The marketing world is continuing to move towards a more integrated, cross-channel approach in creating campaigns. Direct mail, social media, digital ads, and email marketing are all being utilized to get the most out of an advertising campaign. This movement has created a need to funnel marketing outreach, both online and off, into one central location. Microsites are becoming a vital tool in the marketer's arsenal, providing a landing page (or series of linked pages) that serves as a doorway to trackable data on customers entering your promotion. Here at Dukky, we have extensive experience with crafting the perfect microsite. But from time to time our clients ask us how they can make their sites better. Chief among those questions is how they can ensure customer drop-off won't occur.
Customer drop-off is a common and unavoidable occurrence in online marketing. A customer visits your site, takes one look at it and, for one reason or another, decides your promotion is not worth their time or effort (or worse, they think it's a scam) and quickly leave. It's going to happen to some degree. Resign yourself to it. However, there are some steps you can take when designing a microsite that will help keep those rates low. Here, we've compiled a list of the top 5 causes of customer drop-off and how to avoid them.
1) Your offer sucks
It's a fact. People don't want junk. If you don't have a good offer or promotion no one is going to waste their time giving you information to get to it. Too many times we see business owners try and skimp out on the offer. Trust us, thinking the privilege of being signed up for a company newsletter or getting a 5% off coupon will be incentive enough for a customer to hand over their email address or phone number will get you nowhere. Customers should be excited to receive weekly updates about your business getting a new VP of Sales, right? Wrong. Their contact info is worth more in their minds than what you're offering. Make sure your offer is worth the info and time customers are giving you. If they feel it's valuable they in turn will give you their equally valuable info. You got to give a little to get a little.
2) Not enough information on your landing page
Picture this: you land on a microsite with a generic photo (clearly from a stock service) of a person jumping up with glee. Next to it is a call out that reads Simpson Enterprises: Register to win an iPad today! No information on who Simpson Enterprises is or what they do. No correlation between the image on the page and the company. No explanation of the contest or what sort of information will be required to enter. Just an Enter Now button.
We've all seen this before and it screams shady. Not having enough information about who you are and what your business is about on your landing page can make customers run faster than you can say computer virus. While it's vital to keep landing page content clean and to the point, having too little information upfront can make visitors think you're a scam, or worse, a virus. Take time to craft the text on your microsite's landing page. Try and come up with graphics that can be used to give more information on your company identity. Sharing information is a two way street. If you want info from your customers you're going to have to give them some on you first.
3) Requiring their first born child
Microsites can serve as valuable data gathering tools, which can help expand and make your customer database more quantifiable. That data can in turn help you tailor your future marketing campaigns to reach a more targeted audience. As you know, marketing is all about the data. Too often however, business owners rush into thinking they have to get all the info at once.
If a customer lands on your site because they're interested in getting a 35% off coupon to your store they might be quickly turned off if you're asking for their name, phone number, home address, email, age, gender, the school district they live in, etc. It's overwhelming. The more savvy customer will take one look at that and wonder what other companies you're selling their information to. Now suddenly that 35% off doesn't look so appealing.
You may need all the data listed above to have a fully working customer database. But asking for it all at once will significantly reduce the amount of customers who give you data. Have patience. Spread your info requests out over a few campaigns. Use a microsite to gather names and email addresses. Then in your next campaign email those customers (who are already engaged with your brand) and offer them more incentives to provide you with some feedback on services in their area. Then you can ask for their zip code. You can have it all, just not all at once.
4) Thinking all entry points are created equal
Cross-channel marketing is great. A campaign that puts out direct mail pieces to a customer database, sends out an email blast to another and utilizes digital ads is bound to get more response than a campaign using just one of these mediums. That said, some business owners make the mistake of comparing the response rates from different entry points to their microsite.
A customer who just happens to see a digital ad with your offer may click through to the microsite but then decide they're not interested and drop-off. A customer who enters your microsite using a PURL (personalized URL) from a direct mail piece (or from a social share on their friend's Facebook page) however, is likely to be more engaged and spend more time on your site. Try and manage your expectations on response rates by keeping in mind that different mediums have a correlation to the level of engagement a customer may have when hitting your site.
5) Your microsite looks nothing like your website
The number one thing to remember in branding is consistency. If a customer looks at your microsite and then at your website and they don't resemble each other in the slightest they may head for the hills. For all they know your microsite is in fact an imposter, a scam artist waiting to hack into their computer, parading around with the name of a company they know and trust. In essence, they think your microsite is a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Match your microsite's design to your brand's image. Use the same logo, fonts and terminology you use on your website and collateral. Customers take comfort in the familiar. Be sure you keep that in mind when you set out to design a promotional microsite.